An Historical Analysis of Fiscal Equity in the Commonwealth of Virginia: 2004-2018

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Virginia Tech


This research examines the horizontal and vertical equity of public school funding in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2018. This study analyzed and measured the horizontal and vertical equity funding allocations across each reporting division in the Commonwealth of Virginia from FY2004 to FY2018 in two-year increments reflective of the final year in each biennium where the local composite index (LCI) is calculated. Data were collected for the 132 reporting divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia including funding amounts, student counts, categorical counts, and average daily membership. Weights were applied to specific groups within the study (i.e., economically disadvantaged students, special education students, and English language learners) in order to obtain vertical equity measures. The chosen measures of wealth neutrality and fiscal equity were range, restricted range, restricted range ratio, coefficient of variation, the Theil Index, the Pearson Correlation, regression, slope, elasticity, the Gini Coefficient, and the McLoone Index. At fixed intervals reflecting FY2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, the measures were used to analyze the selected data points for each district across the Commonwealth of Virginia with both unweighted and weighted values. The information from these analyses will help inform researchers and educational leaders about the current state of equity for divisions across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Furthermore, it will inform stakeholders about whether or not horizontal and vertical fiscal equity measures have increased or decreased in the selected fiscal years for the Commonwealth of Virginia.



fiscal equity, horizontal equity, vertical equity, equity statistics, Virginia